Romans chapter 3 is one of the most powerful and theologically rich passages in the New Testament. It is in this chapter that Paul explains to the believers in Rome why Jesus’ sacrifice was so important and why it is such an amazing gift of grace. This is one of those passages where the original author assumes that the reader has a pretty thorough understanding of the Old Testament law and the Old Testament sacrificial system. There is where many of us, Christians in the 21st century, can be at a bit of a disadvantage reading this chapter. Many of us focus our time reading in scripture on the New Testament, as we should, but sometimes we miss the larger narrative of the Bible. The God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New; and Jesus is all throughout those stories, laws, and even the genealogies in the Old Testament.
One area that this becomes very clear is in the system of animal sacrifices that God sets in place through Moses primarily in the book of Leviticus. Now Leviticus is probably not on the top of your reading list, and the list of laws and requirements can become tedious; but this was the foundation for how God was communicating his love and grace to the world. I am going to insert a short video from the Bible project that explains the theme of atonement that runs throughout the Bible so well. Please watch this video and then scroll down to the end of the post:
Did you watch the video? Isn’t God’s plan so amazing! Doesn’t it make you want to shout out in praise and thanksgiving to God! The atoning power in Jesus’ blood is the gift that God freely gives us. It is the only way that sin can be eliminated from the world without eliminating us as well. This is how we experience new life, we are cleansed from our sins and then God forgets them! When he looks at us, he does not see those sins and their consequences. We do not stand condemned because of them. We stand pure in His sight, while the life-giving power of Jesus transforms us to be more like Him. The God of the Old and New Testament is the same. He has always been weaving together a story of forgiveness and grace. He has been working out a plan to rescue humans from evil since the book of Genesis. Jesus is that plan, Jesus is the rescuer. If we place our faith in him, his sacrifice purifies us and bring us new life!
I watch videos like the one above often, because they remind me of what God has done for me and they encourage me to live for Him. If you are a follower of Jesus, intentionally put things like this in your life to remind you of what God has done for you. The more we put the cross as a central focus in our lives, the more we look like Jesus to the world.